Iowa State University signed a six-and-a-half million dollar contract to conduct research for the Air Force. Lisa Brasche is with I-S-U’s Center for Nondestructive Evaluation. Brasche says the Center has been focusing on commercial aircraft, but this new contract allows the I-S-U researchers to expand their focus to military aircraft, like F-18s. The research aims to find ways to keep aging aircraft in the Air Force fleet. Brasche’s research tests aircraft parts — without destroying the part itself. Brasche says in some cases the individual parts are worth 20-thousand dollars, and it helps save money to be able to use the part after it’s tested. Brasche says I-S-U researchers develop equipment to test the planes, so the planes don’t have to be flown to Ames. Brasche says I-S-U often gets parts of a plane in Ames, and it’s important that their testing equipment be really portable because aircraft are so large and can’t be easily transferred to testing labs. This is not the Center’s first military contract. Brasche says I-S-U’s Center for Nondestructive Evaluation has been working with the American military, off-and-on, since the early 1980s, but this is the largest single work contract I-S-U has won. The contract is for 40 months.
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